– The Best Surprise –

“When i was younger i loved surprises. Upheaval, both big and small, always fascinated me. Everything else bored me terribly.”

When I was younger I loved surprises. The upheaval, both big and small, always fascinated me. Everything else bored me terribly. Now that I am over fifty, I have learned to appreciate the other side of life, the calm and repetitive side. The side consisting of habits and daily routine.

I have realized that if I like surprises so much, that the virtue really is normality. If I choose to put on my backpack and go travelling, it is because I know that my house is always there waiting for me. Actually, it has been quite a while since my wife and I have been on an adventurous journey. We blame the usual things: work and children.

But now they are growing up, soon we’ll be able to go again. We already have in mind two or three trips, only the two of us, like the old times. When I met Irina, I could never have imagined her eyes surrounded by fine gentle wrinkles. She is not so different. She is just older, wiser, more mine. Perhaps even more beautiful.

“The upheaval, both big and small, always fascinated me.”


To tell the truth, it didn’t take much to fall in love with my wife’s eyes. It was enough to see them by chance, among the thousands of people who had invaded Venice that 15th of July. What are the chances of meeting at the Pink Floyd concert, what are the chances of falling in love right away? It happened to us.

Two nearby gondolas, loud screams, the floating stage, Piazza San Marco as it has been seen only by a few, smiles, what’s your name? My favourite songs as background music, even if you live in Russia, can we go home together? Not to leave each other again. We were a little over twenty years old, both with a large backpack, her blue and mine light blue, few clothes and little money. Irina with her long black hair and light brown eyes.

We have travelled around the world, we got married, we live in a house full of light colours in St. Petersburg, with our two boys. I learned to appreciate the calm that I have. The fragrance of my house after a long day, hug my wife and chat with my children.

“The fragrance of my house after a long day.”


On Tuesday evening, with the other guys at the gym, it’s all for us: another habit that I love and which I would never give up. I leave the bag at the office entrance, I take off my jacket, I go into the bathroom. Irina is already there. The aroma of her favourite bath salts, with lavender aroma, has filled the entire room.

The bathtub is inside a cove, it seems like a light shell that has decided to show to the world it’s pearl. My wife smiles at me. She has wrinkles around her eyes and mouth. I too of course. But they definitely look better on her. I take off my clothes, before I get into the hot water. The bath salts tickle my skin. I close my eyes, I get closer to her. We’re back in Venice, accompanied by the tune of Wish You Were Here.

I open my eyes, we are in our light pink bathroom, with oak furniture. Undoubtedly, Irina has good taste. It is a sweet surprise to see that it is her wet hair, so very black, that I am caressing. I am surprised -yes, surprised- to see that the body of the woman I love is still here with me. I’m surprised that she is not yet tired of being with me, that she looks at me with her eyes full of love.

I’m surprised being enchanted with each gesture she shows. To love, still, all that we have built together: our home, our children, our evenings, our secrets, our songs and our quarrels. Our life together, full of surprises. Hidden in every fold of our days. They are there, you just need to know how to find them.

“Our life together, full of surprises.”


The bath salts

A warm bath can promote health, welfare and mental and physical balance: it helps fight anxiety, headaches, and muscle problems. Bath salts can make the difference, as they have many healing and beneficial properties for the body. You just need to pour a couple of handfuls of them into hot water in order to enjoy their positive effects.

Bath salts help to get rid of the body toxins, promote circulation, relieve muscle pain and help sufferers of skin problems. There are different types of bath salts and among them three are the most popular and effective: Dead Sea salts, Epsom salt, Himalayan Pink Salt.

Bath salts enriched with essential lavender oil are ideal after a busy or stressful day at work. Lavender calms fatigue, thus restoring peace and tranquillity, leading the body to a state of general equilibrium.

It has sedative properties, to balance the central nervous system, balsamic, anti- inflammatory and anti-rheumatic. Even the Romans added lavender, whose healing properties were already known in their baths.